How to Appreciate More
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© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD
Why Is the Ability to Appreciate Accomplishments So Important?
Particularly with personnel in small- to medium-size organizations, it is rare that there is not a large amount of work to do. Because time is such a precious commodity in these organizations, it is common that their people cannot provide sustained effort to priorities and projects. Many times, they get put on “hold” for a few weeks as people attend to other sudden demands for their time, for example, developing a major proposal for a new customer, the Chief Executive Officer’s leaving for vacation, preparing for their annual meeting, or finishing a large product evaluation. For you and your employees, it can seem that activities have stalled out completely.
For many of us, it can seem like we are stuck in a merry-go-round that never goes anywhere and we cannot seem to get off. By ignoring our accomplishments, we are ignoring vast portions of our lives and our work – our perspective can become skewed and incomplete. That perspective can be a major obstacle to the success of leaders.
How Can You Maintain Appreciation for Appreciation?
As a leader, you can make a big difference in your effectiveness and that of your peoples’ accomplishments if all of you have the ability to recognize and appreciate your accomplishments regularly. Consider the following guidelines.
1. Convey the importance of appreciation when you start working with others.
Explain how important it is to recognize accomplishments as well as the tasks yet to be done. Mention it is really important in small- to medium-sized organizations.
2. Ask employees for ideas about how to regularly recognize completion of tasks.
Different cultures have different practices. Some might prefer a simple “Thank you,” while others might prefer a ritual of some sort. Therefore, it is important early in your leadership role to get ideas from your people.
3. When planning, build in acknowledgement of completion in plans.
Planning always results in a list of things to do. Too often, the design of the plans does not include means to recognize accomplishments. Planning is one of the best opportunities to regularly build in means to recognize accomplishments.
4. Design project tasks so it is clear whether they were finished or not.
This is often one of the biggest challenges in developing a sense of appreciation. Ideally, goals, objectives and other tasks are designed to be SMART, an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
5. Regularly acknowledge the completion of the tasks or progress on tasks.
Always seek to find opportunities to appreciate the work of your people. That practice can be a powerful means to model behaviors that they learn from in their lives and work.
Motivating and Inspiring Yourself
For the Category of Personal Wellness:
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